True Blood Season 5 Episode 51 ‘Whatever I Am, You Made Me’ Review

True Blood Season 5 Episode 51 Whatever I Am, You Made Me ReviewAnother week of True Blood is in the books and, sadly, the show still feels like it is taking forever to get nowhere.

This week’s episode, ‘Whatever I Am, You Made Me,’ does at least have a few high points, Pam being the best of those. She’s literally the only character receiving any sort of development this season and has been one of the only aspects of the show keeping me watching.

In the present, Pam is still butt hurt over Eric’s disappearance, still not knowing that he’s been taken by the Authority. As she goes to ground, Pam dreams of her past. The show jumps back to when she met Eric and offers even more depth to their long relationship. After sharing some intimate moments, Pam begs Eric to turn her. With some genuine effort and little exposition, Pam is able to convey just how tough her life has been and how it’s only going to get worse. Eric refuses, but Pam takes matters into her own hands and gives Eric the choice: turn her or watch her die.

“Bill and Eric’s Bogus Journey” continues this week with some ups and downs. Roman, the head of The Authority, has decided to let them track down Russell Edgington, but not without some insurance provided by a harness placed directly over Bill and Eric’s hearts waiting to give them the true death should they stray from their mission. They also, separately, are seduced by Salome, at Roman’s request, in an attempt to prove they truly aren’t part of the Sanguinista movement.

Salome perfectly represents True Blood’s long running problem of not knowing what to do with a character. From her conversation with Bill, it’s learned that she was the one that called for the head of John the Baptist and furthermore seems to have knowledge that the human bible is filled with far more tall tales than truths. It’s a rare case of introducing a character and that character actually being interesting, only to have her “abilities” be having sex. I know the show is known for its sexual nature, but it only hinders a character’s overall narrative when all they’re actually good for is sex.

Speaking of characters whose narrative is almost entirely sex related, there’s whatever they are doing with Jason Stackhouse. So far this season, Jason has been pining over Jessica, so much so that he turned down sex with some random strange and pointed out the bad guy he would be. Couple that with the young kid punching him in the face for ruining his parent’s marriage (Jason, at some point, slept with the kid’s mom), and Jason was seemingly on the road to becoming a better man. That is, until he runs into one of his high school teachers, possibly the woman that took his virginity and it’s almost all he can do not to have sex with her right there in the grocery store. With all the bat shit craziness that goes on in Bon Temps, I honestly don’t think anyone would be surprised.

True Blood Season 5 Episode 51 Whatever I Am, You Made Me Review

And then there’s Tara. Every time I think the writers are about to actually do something good with her character, she goes right back to being dumb, annoying Tara. On her own in the woods and hungry, she stumbles upon a helpless girl that would be easy prey and, if Tara acted upon her new vampire desires, could have propelled her narrative down a possibly compelling path. Of course, though, despite being a new vampire that’s not in complete control of her actions, she sees her reflection and apologizes to the girl just before darting off to Sam.

Other notable moments:

– Pam and Alcide both telling Sookie to shut up at different points was music to my ears. More of that, please!

– Between Sookie’s light power and the young guy Jessica “smells,” it looks like Faeries are probably on their way back. Great, even more characters for this show to never develop.

– Andy and Holly have a sincerely sweet moment. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the show ruins it.

– Goth Hoyt

– Jessica and Jason having a “let’s be friends” moment is good for Jason’ narrative, but I’m worried that it’s going to make the Jessica character boring.

-The Authority has been somewhat of a disappointment, but Chris Meloni’s Roman is keeping me intrigued.

– Lafayette pours some bleach into some gumbo and sees the brujo demon in his reflection. Can’t we just have sassy, fun Lafayette again?

– Nora’s still alive for anyone that cares.

– Terry and Arlene’s storyline this season may as well not even be going on.

– Bill and Lorena showing up in Pam’s flashback was a nice surprise.

– Rev. Newlin aka “The New Nan Flanagan”

All in all, ‘Whatever I Am, You Made Me’ was another mixed bag. There’s so much potential for good stories going on in True Blood: Season 5, but three episodes in and the show just feels like it is spinning its wheels. Knowing that this is Alan Ball’s last season, I can’t help but wonder if he’s already checked out. Even with this show’s penchant for cheese, it’s at least, in the past, had some inspired moments. Season Five, so far, though, feels very tired. I don’t even know if Russell Edgington’s return will be able to save it or if fans will even care.

– Matt Hardeman

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